Hello everyone :)
This is it! The last week of the most amazing 18 months and 1 week OF my life (so far) and FOR my life. A ward member was talking to me yesterday asking me about my feelings of going home. They were hinting at me being scared/nervous/unprepared for this next step. I was SO grateful for the spirit and the confirmation that I felt when I was able to confidently tell them that I AM READY. Everything is set in Utah that needs to be set, I have made my goals in advance, I know the person that I will continue to be - I am excited and grateful to live this last week the same as any other week of my mission and LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT.
We had exchanges last Tuesday with our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Howle and Sister Davidson. Haha Sister Chelson and I are very similar in that we get SO excited about things like District Meeting, Zone Training, etc. And with this being her first exchange, she was ecstatic. We were bouncing off the walls on Monday. I was blessed to go back to the wonderful land of Brampton with Sister Howle! Haha it was funny to answer the phone saying, "Hello this is Sister Howle and Sister Bodine" because people would respond with, "Hey how are...... uh.... wait..... Sister Bodine?" We were blessed to meet with pretty much every person in Brampton that I love. We got to tract, contact, plan together again. It was so refreshing getting to serve with Sister Howle again. She truly is an amazing missionary. We had lunch with Donna Purchase, we visited the Barillas family, Abigail, Betty Walling, etc. The highlight of exchanges, however, was definitely getting to visit with Brother Newall again. We didn't tell him that I was coming, so Sister Howle recorded it as we had our reunion. Brother Newall was smiling from ear to ear the entire time haha. He was so excited to tell me everything that has happened in the past month. He is going home teaching now, he passed the sacrament. The thing he is most excited about is getting to help out with cleaning the chapel every Saturday. Haha he did a little dance in his chair as he told me that this next Saturday, the cleaning leader is going to be gone and they appointed Brother Newall to be in charge of the cleanup. And what's even cooler?! Last week he taught the lesson in Elders Quorum!!! Wow. He told me he was terrified, especially because the topic was Joseph Smith, the part of the Restoration that he had a hard time with when we first started teaching him. It was so fun to hear him bear his testimony though about how much he had learned about Joseph Smith as he was preparing for the lesson, and how he KNOWS without a shadow of a doubt now that that man is a prophet of God. He is SHINING. What a gift to see.
Yesterday was one of the best Sundays of my mission. We had a Stake Conference broadcast from Salt Lake with Sister Reeves, Elder Kacher, Elder Anderson, and Elder Hales speaking. POWERFUL. I received so much insight for the people we are teaching and for how we can help our ward members get excited about missionary work. After the broadcast, we started our mini mission!!! I had Sister Ashley Fuller (17) and Sister Doretta Jackson (13) with me, and Sister Chelson was in a car with a couple beehives and a leader as her companions. Sister Fuller and Sister Jackson drove with me. We had two teaching appointments and a little bit of time to tract as well. We also had a regular dinner appointment. Before we left, all our different groups split up and we practiced teaching the Restoration. This was the first time both of my companions have ever done that before, and they did SUCH a good job! It was so much fun seeing how excited they were after the appointments. The people we visited knew that it was their first time and they praised them so much for the good work that they did. Both girls were on top of the world as they bore their testimonies at testimony meeting about how they want to serve a mission now.
And it was AMAZING to see how excited the LEADERS were with the activity. Every single one of them that bore their testimonies talked about how much that experience opened their eyes to missionary work. The leader that went with Sister Chelson's group shared her story with us. She has felt that she needed to share the gospel with a certain neighbor for TEN YEARS. And today, as they were in the car, she decided that it was time :) They went to his home and invited him to come to the "Meet the Mormons" showing our ward is putting together next week. She was SO EXCITED.
Another cool experience was our friend Sister Goodrich gave the Book of Mormon to one of her friends she has been thinking about! We will see where that goes :)
Cutest moment of the week: We joined the youth at Missionary Olympics for a mutual activity on Wednesday. The last part of the night, they had a scripture Jeopardy game. One of the questions was, "What did the Savior say to his apostles when they were in the storm on the boat, and Peter asked the Savior if He was going to allow them to perish. This cute little Beehive was the last person to answer and she didn't know what to say so she guessed, "Come to my side of the boat?" Haha May we all choose to come to the Savior's side of the boat so He can keep us safe and protected amidst life's storms. :)
Well I love this work. I don't really know what to say, what parting words to give. I am just grateful for it all. I know this is Christ's church. It is God's kingdom. The Book of Mormon is God's word. Joseph Smith was God's chosen representative, and Thomas S. Monson is His chosen prophet today. It is God's "work and [His] glory" to see His children happy. And there is no way that I could be happier with the work that He has called me to perform. I want to thank you ALL for the support that you have given me. And for the prayers that you have sent to the wonderful people in Ontario Canada. I love this place with all my heart. These people are my world. I am so grateful for my Savior, for His sacrifice, His life and example. He is been my strength and my song through this journey. I WILL SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE bearing witness that He IS the Christ, the Son of the living God. Our Savior and our Brother.
I love you all :) And I am BEYOND excited to see you and hug you and thank you on Saturday!!! May God bless you for EVERYTHING you are to me.